In Canada, we are a registered non-profit society called One Five One Outreach Association. It was started by my Aunt and Uncle and some of their Christian friends who wanted to reach out to the youth in Parksville. They opened a youth drop-in centre and had art nights and other cool activities. They have christmas hampers, sponsor kids for grad, and other youth things. Recently, they closed the centre cause they felt it was time but still had a few programs and had the organization. I approached them to see if they would take us under (as we were debating registering in Canada but were dreading the process) and, after looking at our goals and their constitution, they agreed we would be a good fit. So here is the constitution for One Five One Outreach Association:
The purposes of the society are:
(a) To provide counselling service for people in distress.
(b) To provide teaching and workshops on strengthening families (e.g., parenting and marriage).
(c) To establish an alcohol and drug free centre for youth to socialize and have fun.
(d) To provide character development, increased employability and life skills to underprivileged
youth through peer and adult mentorship.
(e) To supply low cost rental housing and home repairs to the poor.
Of course we don't address all these points in Kenya, but most of our programs fall under one or two of these purposes.
In Kenya, we are in the process of registering as a Community Based Organization. We are waiting for another month or so to solidify the attendance of the girls in my group. Once we know they are committed, we will bring together all our youth, and start applying for this organization. Because it is community based, it requires local members, a constitution, and other legal documents. We want our youth to be involved and feel like this is something they are passionate about. Our draft constitution for our CBO is:
The purpose of the Rehma Kongowea is:
- To provide character development, increased employability and life skills to underprivileged youth through peer and adult mentorship.
- To establish an alcohol and drug free youth training centre which will include a study room/library, computer lab, conference room, and lounge.
- To mentor youth and keep them out of destructive habits through sports (namely football).
- To provide school sponsorships for youth.
- To provide a safe environment for youth to talk about relevant life issues.
As you can see, there is not a direct Christian component in either of these. I have had people ask me if we are a 'christian organization'. That is a tough question because it is not in our constitution. In saying that, we do what we do because of our faith. One Five One was started by my Aunt and Uncle who wanted to lavish youth in their community with Christ's love. Kelvin and I want to do the same. Our youth know our faith and respect it. They know that we will teach them the bible and pray in Jesus name. Kelvin told me the other day that one of our Muslim boys has actually started insisting on saying 'the grace' (2 Corinthians 13:14) at the end of practice. He has memorized it and everything! Our faith is why we do what we do.
On to finances....
Here is a breakdown of where our finances went last year:
- Admin 2.4%
- School Fees 32.1 %
- Staff Salaries 9.2%
- Youth Centre 15.3%
- Team Expenses 13.9%
- Extras for the boys 24.6%
- Canadian Bank fees 2.2%
I am really proud when I see these numbers. Our admin fees are down, and most of the money is going to our programs.
A few things that are changing this year (or have just changed in the past couple months):
- We are hiring people. We have hired a coach to run practices 4 nights a week. We have hired one of the boys to take care of all the equipment and run the centre. We have also delegated a small stipend for Kelvin (about as much as you spend on a nice meal out with your family).
- We have a centre that we pay rent and electricity for. This is a monthly expense.
- Our boys have just been accepted into the Kenya Football Federation's provincial league. This is exciting! They are the only team in Kongowea to be in this league. Our boys will be more exposed with more opportunities for sponsorships. We will travel a lot more and further distances.
- We are not offering school sponsorships. Most of our sponsored youth will be finishing their programs this year. We want to focus on their needs and helping them to finish strong.
- We are reaching ladies as you can read below.
- We are opening ourselves up to receive visitors who would like to come and hang out with us and our youth.
- We are looking into opening a computer lab. I am currently researching the best ways to do this, where to find the funding, and how beneficial this would be for the community.
It is exciting all that is happening. I don't think we would have ever thought we would be this far. For Kelvin and I, our focus is pouring into the lives of the youth God has entrusted with. I have 12 girls who I will focus on. Kelvin has a team of 30 boys that he continues to love on. They are our 'kids'.
As for the Rehma Boys website, it is currently down. I will be re-vamping it in the next couple months once our CBO is registered. For now you can follow the happenings on my blog.
Our needs are unending. Currently we need funds for:
- A young lady we just put into hairdressing school. We have yet to find a sponsor.
- The boys travelling and game expenses. They will increase greatly now that they are in the provincial league.
- We want to stock the youth centre with books so youth can come and study, research and find resources for their school. (Imagine going through high school without text books, a computer lab, or a library).
- My girls group. I want to treat them to an outing once every month or two. I am now planning on taking them for a day to a beach hotel to swim, eat, and have a few ladies come and talk to them.
- Miscellaneous. Things come up every week whether one of the boys get hurt at practice and needs to go to the hospital or we need to help pay rent for someone or we need a new ball/equipment.
If you have any questions, comments, concerns, advices, input please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are new in this so I am always looking for people to walk along side and help us.
As for Kelvin and I, we are busy. With all this, having a new business, and being newlyweds, we are busy. Please pray for us!
Thanks for all your support!